Investments form an important part of the household strategy when it comes to building wealth. It’s not always easy to get onto the right strategy and there is always that margin of risk to take into account. For those who are able to commit to a long-term strategy, the results are often better than those looking for a quick way to get rich. The Santander UK Investments range offers customers a little more than they bargained for. Is this enough to snuff out the competition and claim top spot with this product range? This review does the research to find out if it does.
Investments play a big role in the accumulation of wealth. A bank that is proud of their investment range, is Deutsche Bank.
About Santander UK
The bank, founded in the 1800s in Santander, Spain, has come a long way from its humble beginnings. A growing customer base and increasing popularity allowed the bank to send its feelers out and set up a few more branches in Spain. When international banking beckoned, the bank set up base in places such as Havana. But Europe also needed a bit of exploring and in the mid-1900s, the bank established a branch in London. This was a good move for the bank, as the customer base in the UK started expanding. Today, Santander is regarded as one of the largest banks in the world thanks to its impressive customer base. The bank is wildly popular with the local and gives traditional UK brands some tough competition.
Investments Pros and Cons
Investing is often a topic that is broached with either fear and trepidation, or gusto and a string of “must-haves”. But the world of investing is a daunting one, and customers will have wade through the different options. There are many reasons why customers should go for it and just as many reasons why they shouldn’t. These are a few pros and cons to work through.
Customers Get To Decide Which Level Of Risk They Want
When customers opt for an investment, they need to wade through the various levels of risk and find the one they’re most comfortable with. The only thing they need to bear in mind is that even low-risk investments carry a margin of risk. This means they can lose some or all of their capital in a low-risk product.
Investment is Time Sensitive
Potential investors who are lured by the promise of great returns over a short period of time should take a step back and re-evaluate the offer. Investments are not designed for the short term and those who want their investments to work for them will need to be patient. Market fluctuations may affect the value of the investment which will take to ride out or recover. The investment also needs to recover from the initial charges and costs to ensure customers have a decent return.
Investments are Only Guaranteed When It Says Guaranteed
Striking up a conversation with a broker about the latest investment trend that guarantees to perform at a certain level is a dangerous conversation. The investment fund has to carry a guarantee and the paperwork needs to reflect it in order for it to be effective. Customers need to also ensure that they understand the terms of the guarantee as some only offer a guarantee on the capital or part thereof. Very few are willing to actually guarantee the performance of the investment.
Past Performance Does Not Indicate Future Performance
Although past performance is a helpful tool to use, it in no way guarantees that a fund will continue to perform at the same level. Market conditions change and based on the risk of the fund, even the slightest movement can affect the performance.
Customers who prefer lower risk should consider the savings range offered by Santander UK.
Santander UK Investments Product Offerings
Starting the Investment Journey
Santander UK takes great pride in educating their customers regarding the various types of options available to them. In the segment that takes a look at options for beginner investors, the bank has a host of personalized stories to help investors navigate through the various options available to them. Some of the products customers will be able to read this information on include:
- Investing in Retirement
- A Lump Sum from a Cash ISA
- How To Make Savings Work Harder
- Investing for the Future
- Planning for a Child’s Future, and more.
Customers are guided to a segment on the website that provides them with important things to consider. This includes understanding the difference between saving and investing, investing for the medium and long term, and more.
Ready to Start Investing
Customers have access to a guide to investing that allows them to explore their various options. Furthermore, customers will have access to Santander’s Investment Hub.
- The hub allows customers to manage their investments anytime online.
- They can invest from £20 per month or a lump sum from £100.
- Customers also have access to financial advice if they need it.
Investing For Yourself
In this leg of the investment journey, the Investment Hub is used to provide better opportunities for the investor. With this option, customers have access to a whole new world of investing.
- It gives customers control over their investments. They may move it back into cash when they want.
- Customers are also able to be as risky or cautious as they feel comfortable with.
- Furthermore, it allows customers to buy and sell a range of investment funds.
- With this tool, customers are also able to transfer funds in that are held elsewhere should they wish to keep everything together.
- They can track the movements through their online banking.
- Finally, customers can keep an eye on the performance of the investment at all times.
Get Advice on Investing
Financial needs change from customer to customer as these needs are based on a number of things. These include age, financial position, personal preferences, and more. Customers have access to Financial Planning Managers that will help them navigate through the various products. These products are limited to:
- Structured Deposits/Index Linked Savings Bonds provided by Santander UK plc
- Structured Investments/Fixed Term Investments administered by Santander ISA Managers Limited (SIM)
- Selected fund ranges provided by Santander Asset Management UK Limited.
What We Like About Santander UK Investments
This is a healthy mix of investment options that will afford even the most unskilled investor to find their feet. The product information and careful considerations are always a help. It allows customers to make their decisions based on good information and steady support.
One of our favorite features of this product range is the Santander Investment Hub. With this tool, investors have access to the various types of investments according to their preferences. Furthermore, customers enjoy some wonderful special features that allow them to keep track of the investments online.
Newbies often find it hard to find their feet when it comes to investing and with Santander, this process is smooth and simple. The right information sets them on the right course and they will have access in no time. The entry costs are also very low, which make investments available to a large number of customers.
Finally, customers don’t need to belong to a specific client category in order to qualify for the investment advice. They have access to the adviser when they require further advice on specific products, which sets Santander head and shoulders above some of the competitors.
What We Don’t Like About Santander UK Investments
As agreeable as we find all the information on the site, the bank still needs to provide some critical information on the products. For instance, we don’t know which funds are available and whether they cater for all the different investment categories. There is a bit of information that alludes that they do, but not enough for us to form an opinion.
The insurance range from Santander UK is far more upfront with its information.
Critical Reviews Rating Santander UK Investments – 9 of 10
Santander UK is one of those banking institutions that has continuously surprised us with their product range. What’s more is that customers always seem to be right in the middle of their decision-making process. This is because the products showcase exactly what clients want and need. Furthermore, the bank digs deep and provides customers with all the information they could possibly want, even before they step into a bank.
With their investment range, Santander went out of their way to provide great information to customers. They warn of the potential pitfalls and customers are guided in order to make the decisions that are right for them. With the Santander Investor Hub, they have access to the products right at their fingertips.
Unfortunately, as much as we would like to praise the efforts of the bank, some critical information is lacking. We simply can’t ignore that customers have no access to the actual products online and will have to see an advisor or request access to the hub for it. This makes it a little less transparent than we would like, and also makes it inconvenient for those still shopping around. We have no choice but to dock a point for that.
A full review on personal loans by Santander UK is also available.